Commissioner Robert Powelson announced on June 28 that he will step down from his position at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to lead the National Association of Water Companies. Commissioner Powelson was sworn in on August 10, 2017 for a term that was intended to last through June 30, 2020, but will be leaving this August.
One of three Republican appointees on the five-member Commission, Commissioner Powelson’s departure will leave FERC with two Republicans and two Democrats until another Republican is confirmed by the US Senate to assume the vacated seat (the majority of seats must be held by the party of the US president).
Given the number of high-profile issues under consideration at the Commission, including the emerging issue of resiliency (Docket No. AD18-7) and the hotly disputed reconsideration of FERC’s existing policy on certificating new interstate natural gas facilities (Docket No. PL18-1), an even split between the parties could make it difficult to issue a final policy or rule in these proceedings.